I was walking down the hallways of Lincoln Elementary, feeling like a giant. I used to use these lockers and now here I am, towering over them. I turned the corner into Connie Ryan’s fourth grade classroom and was startled when I was face to face with a friendly clown. Mrs. Ryan had on electric blue eyeshadow and a crazy colored afro. Right from this moment, I knew she was the kind of teacher I would have wanted.
Connie Ryan is not a new face in the Osage Community School District. She first arrived last year, helping teach in our Middle School Special Education. However, this year she decided to move to Lincoln. She had always known that she wanted to teach elementary so when the position opened up, she was ecstatic. “To me, school teaching was like a pay it forward idea”. Having four children of her own, she knew what she was getting herself into.
Ryan is a native of Columbus, Nebraska. She first went to school at Iowa State with intentions to major in architecture. Realizing it was not what she wanted to wake up and do every single day, she stopped taking the classes. It wasn’t until after she had her children that she realized her love for teaching.
Mrs. Ryan is very happy with her new job. She loves the school district and the staff members. The staff has been very supportive during her transition in between schools. “I enjoy the community part of Osage.”
Her first year of teaching fourth grade is off to a great start. The best part of it all is the kids. “The day never gets stale.” When I asked her for advice for young adults thinking about going into teaching, she had many helpful things to say. “I would reflect back on your own school experience...both good and bad.” She also mentioned volunteering and taking advantage of college training hours. It is hard to know what to do after high school, but if you are like Connie Ryan, your passion will find you.